Nov 14, 2010

Swinging on a Star

Song sung by actor Doris Day..A song I loved as a teenager when I use to be in the school choir. Our choir teacher use to teach us to sing this song. I don't like Birthday I decided to use this for my birthday post.

I literally swinging on a star now..coz my king at home is happy with the Birthday noodles I made for him on his birthday, that's yesterday. I couldn't post yesterday because I had to go to Robinsons at Centrepoint. To assist Chef Halimah in her first class there.

Benny ask for Tonpo Ruo(Stewed Pork Belly) for lunch this weekend. And I thought it was such a good way to use that for his birthday noodles. Litrally breaking way from tradition for a while.

Here's my recipe for this..very elaborate and long winded. But the time is not wasted when someone you are trying to cook this for, appreciates it.

Tea Smoked Tonpo Ruo with noodles
Recipe by Gina Choong


1kg pork belly
5 pcs Slab brown sugar
30ml Dark soya sauce
100ml Light soya sauce
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp Tie Guan Yin(Chinese Tea leaves)
800ml water
200g spring onions

Ingredients for Smoking
1 cup rice(uncooked, raw)
2 tbsp Tie Guan Yin(chinese tea leaves)

Method to cook the pork
1. Heat up a pot of water to briefly cook the pork for 5 minutes. Discard the water, wash the semi cook pork in tap water.
2. Using a large claypot or big casserole, lined the bottom with spring onions.
3. Put the pork belly(side side down) on top of the spring onions.
4. Stuff tea leaves in a tea bag and also the pepper corns in another tea bag.
5. put in on top the pork.
6. Pour in all the liquid ingredients and making sure the liquid covers the pork.
7. Turn on the fire and leave it to boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot to simmer for 2 hours.
8. Check on the liquid, add hot water occasionally if the level drops below the meat.
9. Test for tenderness of the meat to make sure its cooked through.
10. Turn off fire, remove the pork from the sauce and leave it on a plate.

Method to smoke:
1. Line an old wok with aluminium foil.
2. mix rice and tea leaves together and toss it all over the foil.
3. Put a wire rack/steamer rack on top.
4. Cover the wok and turn on the fire at high heat. Wait till you see some smoke emitting from the sides of the wok, then turn off the fire.
5. Place the plate of pork on the rack, cover the wok again.
6. Leave it to stand(without turning on the fire) for about 1 hour. This allows the meat to absorb/fused with the tea smoke.

Method to serve :
1. Cook noodles over hot water, drain in cold water.Toss it with sesame oil.
2. Add it into a bowl. Place sliced Tonpo Ruo on top of the noodles.
3. Pour hot stewed sauce on top of the noodles.
4. Serve immediately.

I use Tie Guan Yin tea because its 'greener' despite being dried. And it emits a nice robust tea flavour in cooking and smoking.

If you have the patience for smoking, go ahead and try it. Use it to smoke any kind of meats(only after its cooked).
If not, just omit the smoking part.

I mentioned old wok because I have a wok that is heavily scratched/spoiled by the domestic helpers I have in the past. I never throw it out. But use it for such purposes.

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